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Saudi Arabia has high hopes that a campaign of arrests to crack down on corruption will improve its chances of joining the Financial Action Task Force, a global body dedicated to combating illicit money flows.Its last attempt to join the inter-governmental body, which has 37 members, was unsuccessful in 2010 and some lobbyists may oppose the new Saudi push before an expected vote mid next year.But achieving membership offers the possibility of strengthening Riyadh's international standing at a time when it wants foreign investors to back its multibillion-dollar transformation plan, as well as improving global financial ties for its banks.Saudi efforts to join the body are at a critical stage.Saudi Arabia has struggled with allegations that some of its banks have helped to fund terrorists.At the end of 2013, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its correspondent banking relationship with 500 foreign lenders including Al Rajhi, Reuters previously reported, citing sources.While the central bank has maintained Saudi banks have not experienced a dip in correspondent banking relationships, it has said it remains vigilant as any decline could hurt the stability of the financial system and economic growth. The central bank did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on FATF.
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